Photo by Ahreum Song
Article by Marzia Sterling
One would suppose that every strange and terrible thing which lead up to the 27th of May, 2025, had been going on for months. Where did it all truly start? The beginning of the second semester? The werewolf attack of the January Wolf Full Moon? Or did it perhaps start before most of us students were born, back when our Deputy Headmistress walked these very halls as a student, herself? Perhaps it all started when the lycanthropy curse was born, but I digress. For the purposes of this article, we will start a few weeks prior to today.
It was the 22nd of May, 2025, in which Danica Priaulx, professor of Astronomy and Head of Hufflepuff House, failed to show up to her class. This was considered very strange, and spurred on a fruitless search. Fear was running high, following countless attacks on our student body that spread over the course of months. It was then, after the staff member’s disappearance, that students started to notice the absence of their friends, too. Despite warning and worry, however, we would not discover the location of our professor, or the suspected missing students, until five days later.
The day started peacefully enough. The sun rose through a cloudless sky, bathing the castle in its light and promise. Promise of freedom, just around the bend. Days to be spent in the very same sunlight, minds free from thoughts of exams and fear. The sunlight and the promise of a gentle day, however, was an illusion. Deceived, were we, in thinking the chaos was over. The witch who caused so much torment had yet to be found, so how could it be? An explosion could be heard from the owlery, sounding off the beginning of a gruesome afternoon. Wolves poured in from the clocktower, and the owlery, attacking all who crossed their paths. The witch who was so hungrily sought after, strode through the halls as she made her way to the castle’s heart. Students fought vigilantly to protect each other, and many injuries were sustained. Nothing fatal, thankfully, but the ward would be full for the next few days. Those who stood against the chaos used an arsenal of spells, to ward off the mysterious beasts which sought to do them harm. In the grand staircase, was the final showdown. Our Headmaster and Deputy faced the witch who had been at the root of such heartbreak. Words which spoke of betrayal, isolation, and broken friendships were exchanged, as were spells. Such words which echoed through those halls and carried over cries of pain and calls for help.
She who had harmed so many, was sent to the edge. Metaphorically, but also literally. Anyone in the grand staircase bore witness, as she grappled onto the railing, and seemingly let go of her own free will. At the bottom of the stairs, just outside the dungeons, she met her end against our flagstone floors. A mortal’s death. Many students and faculty joined the ranks in those who could now see Thestrals. Reeling from the battle, students and faculty alike discovered the wolves which attacked, were not at all from the wild, nor were they acting of their own free will. Transfiguration spells revealed the wolves to be the suspected kidnapped students, Priaulx among those transfigured, who would not at all remember their time as canines.
In the aftermath of the battle, there are many things to remember. What we are does not determine who we are. A person who performs ill deeds is a person ill of mind, regardless of blood or curse. You are not what happened to you. No one is defined by the things that happen that are out of their control. We are defined by how we respond. The things we choose to do. Let us respond with love and empathy, and heal our wounds together.